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Foamy Beer thread # two Brazillion

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  • Foamy Beer thread # two Brazillion

    I know, I know. Not another "Why do I have TOO much foam in my beer" thread.

    But I'm at my wits end! I've searched the other threads and thought I found the problem, a damaged keg seal, but that is in perfect condition. A little background. I've had this set up for over a year with many kegs come and gone. It has functioned perfectly. I clean it in with Clean Flo after every keg. Nothing has changed in operating procedures in the past year.

    The stats:
    First pour starts foam, a little beer, another shot of foam then beer. Second pour is perfect. 2nd beer Temp is about 39* (my thermometer is 3-4 warm btw). PSI about 13 (a little high, but I like it there/looks like 15 optical illusion in pic). The beer is a Dunkel if that matters.

    There is a cluster of bubbles at the faucet and the coupler (please see pics). I just put this keg in service on Saturday so all the hardware is clean and it has had a chance to rest and come up to temp. It seems like i have a leak somewhere. I just checked all the rubber and it looks great, as it did when I cleaned it.

    Please help. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Any other questions about the setup welcome, too.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by jeepstud; 06-06-2011, 10:32 AM.

  • #2
    ok, first off..."i like it there" does not mean it belongs there. the carbonation level was created by the brew master of the beer and needs an exact psi at an exact temp to remain it its original form. if you raise the psi it will over carbonate the beer, and if you lower the psi it will allow beer to break out of the solution creating bubbles in your line. also the same will hapen with changes in you know what the exact psi for the temp you have is supposed to be? you should start there and deterime if you were off with your setup and adjust from there to balance the system.


    • #3
      The system IS balanced. I've ran over 20 kegs through this set-up (1/2 bbl and slims) and this is the first time I've had to mess with the CO2 regulator to "FIX" it. On Friday night I was pouring perfect pints of Maibock (ale). I changed out the kegs to a Franconia Dunkle on Saturday, immediately got foam. Thinking it was hot or just agitated i let it sit, but 72 hrs later I'm still getting foam. Again, the only thing that has changed from Friday to Saturday was the keg, and it looks fine.

      BTW. Am I correct in thinking that the higher the beer temp (say 40*) that the PSI needs to be increased (like to 14)?
      Last edited by jeepstud; 05-17-2011, 07:35 AM.


      • #4
        If the carbonation level of Franconia Dunkle is different than the carbonation level of the Maibock, or whatever other kegs you've had, then the system is no longer balanced. One pressure setting does not work for every beer out there. You should e-mail the brewery and find out what volume of co2 they keg this beer at. Once you know the volumes of co2 in the beer, then you can determine what pressure to set the regulator at based on this information + the temperature.

        The cluster of bubbles you are seeing at the shank is co2 breaking out of solution. co2 breaks out of solution when there is not enough pressure to keep the gas in solution.

        And yes, you are correct. The higher the beer temp, the higher the PSI needs to be. Here is a chart:

        The volumes of co2 are all the numbers in the middle of this chart.... which is why you need to know it in order to determine the correct pressure setting to apply.

        Force Carbonation Chart -
        Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
        Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern

        Home Brew IPA


        • #5
          OK, Thanks. I'll find out that information.

          I have had several kegs of this exact same beer, in between other beers from the same brewer, with no problems at all. That's what has me stumped. I'll follow up with any new infomation I get.


          • #6
            You stated that you think you may have a leak. Have you performed a leak test on your system? How about the flashlight test?
            Scott Zuhse, Instructor Micro Matic Dispense Institute


            • #7
              Originally posted by Scott Zuhse View Post
              You stated that you think you may have a leak. Have you performed a leak test on your system? How about the flashlight test?

              OK Scott, I did both of these test.

              The leak test came back negative. The pressure needle didn't budge even after several minutes after I shut off the tank.

              The "flashlight test" was no bubbles at about 10 PSI, which was close enough to the brewers recommendation of 9. He actually called me personally and tried to troubleshoot my issue and offered to come out and take a look. Dennis Wehrmann at Franconia Brewing is awesome.

              I took my sankey apart to inspect the rubber seals. The probe seal looked like it had a few little micro cracks in it. Not enough to break but still there. Could that be causing my problem? I'm still getting a quick shot of foam right after the pour starts...foam-beer-foam-then beer for the rest of the pour. Like its coming from the coupler.

              The bubbles are very tight and nice lacing in the glass if that matters.

              Thanks again for all the help.


              • #8
                Did you ask Dennis what the CO2 volume specification is for his beer? If you stopped at 10 PSIG with the flashlight test, and your temperature is 35 - 36F based on your thermometer being off 3-4 degrees (non-adjustable digital ?? What is it? 3 or 4?), I'm guessing close to a 2.5 v/v carbonation level. This also depends on how much foam you dispensed prior to the flashlight test.
                Scott Zuhse, Instructor Micro Matic Dispense Institute


                • #9
                  I asked Dennis about the CO2 volume and he said 9 psi. Either he didn't understand what I asked or "assumed" I was wanting to know what to set my tank at. My thermometer is a cheap analog dial kind and the degree marks are too close together to get an exact reading and it's not adjustable. I've never had any reason to upgrade until now.

                  As far as foam dispensed prior, probably three or four beers worth prior to starting the tests.
                  Last edited by jeepstud; 05-18-2011, 11:32 AM.


                  • #10
                    It is difficult to work off of a pressure recommendation as temperature may be unknown. If you have another discussion with him, try to get a specific volume specification out of him. Then all you need is your beer temp. in the keg and you can go from there.
                    Last edited by Scott Zuhse; 05-19-2011, 07:14 AM.
                    Scott Zuhse, Instructor Micro Matic Dispense Institute


                    • #11
                      if you cannot get the volume, then ask him what the temp should be at when 9psi is applied...the chart will show you the volume when you have at least 2 numbers.


                      • #12
                        Just spoke to the brewer again. When I asked what the volume of CO2 they recommend he told me they naturally carbonate their beer to 5-6 mg/l. Does that mean anything?

                        He referred back to the 9 PSI at the tank and 42* beer, which is what he uses personally. That would put it at 2.12.

                        I upgraded to a digital thermometer...2nd pour beer temp was 42*. I finally got rid of the bubbles in the beer line, but I had to go up to 17psi to do so. Now I think I'm over carbonated and still getting 1/2 foam. Could my co2 tank be going empty (see regulator pic in 1st post) or regulator be bad? Any way to test high pressure gauge?


                        • #13
                          first rule to remeber is that the co2 and temp is not a starting point. it is a cold hard fact and an exact science, the co2 psi should never move unless the beer temp is changed. if you are having problems....its somthing else. from your first post your beer temp was 38 and the psi was 13, roughly double the brew masters levels. your 42 degrees and 17psi represents a 2.78 carbonation volume.... your beer at this point is mostlikely over carbonated. if it were me i would turn off the regulator and release the co2 pressure on the beer...shake and repete. then apply the correct psi for the temp you have which is 9psi and WAIT. there will be some waiting involved to correctly adjust this system.
                          Last edited by xscash; 05-19-2011, 12:36 PM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xscash View Post
                            ... it is a cold hard fact...
                            That's punny.

                            I'll put the settings to the brew's recommendations and do a few purge/shakes and see what happens over the next couple of days. He offered to replace the keg if I was still having problems though. But I'm sure it's my fault not the keg. When I left for work this morning I didn't see any bubbles in the line and i turned it down to about 10psi if i remember right.


                            • #15
                              I spoke with Dennis this morning and confirmed that the carbonation level of the Dunkel is 2.5 v/v. With this and if you take in consideration his recommended temperature for optimal flavor (40F), using one pound push your pressure should be 13 PSIG.

                              Be aware that as we carried on our conversation, I realized that Dennis was not exactly up to speed on how to package his product the final time through a dispensing system. This is often the case as in the past I have encountered many brewers who are very passionate about producing fabulous beer but unsure as to how to get it to the customer from the keg. I do believe that Dennis has a much better idea now after our discussion.

                              So refrain from messing with your pressure, calibrate that thermometer and maintain your temperature 24/7 from the keg to the faucet.

                              Enjoy the Dunkel.
                              Scott Zuhse, Instructor Micro Matic Dispense Institute